How To Make a Frittata

Frittatas have saved me on more hungry weeknights than I care to count. As long as I have a few vegetables and maybe a little meat to throw in a skillet, I can have a frittata on the table in about 20 minutes. Let me tell you, there is nothing better than diving into a plate of steaming veggie-filled eggs when you're home late and starving.

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Frittatas were once my culinary nemesis. Everyone else seemed to think they were so easy-peasy, but mine always turned out dry or bland or unappetizing for one reason or another. Through trial and error, I learned some nifty tricks and gradually refined my technique. Almost without realizing it, frittatas became a regular visitor to my weeknight meal rotation.

In retrospect, I think I was making frittatas out to be more complicated than they actually are. There's not really a "right" way to make them. The method I describe here is what consistently works for me, but I have no doubt that you will make tweaks of your own once you head into the kitchen. I do recommend a cast-iron or oven-safe non-stick skillet, however. Stainless steel pans will work, but you'll need extra oil to make sure the eggs don't stick to the pan.

One frittata makes plenty for four to six people, and more than enough for two. The leftovers are nearly as good as frittata straight from the oven. I like to eat a wedge on top of a piece of toast for an easy lunch.

Do you make frittatas? What are your tricks?

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How to Make a Frittata

Makes roughly six servings

What You Need

Choose 3-4 of the following:
1 onion, diced
1 potato, diced
1 bell pepper, diced
1 roasted red pepper, diced
1-2 cups broccoli
1-2 cups cauliflower
1-2 leeks, diced
12 ounces mushrooms, diced or thinly sliced
1 cup leftover pasta
1 cup leftover rice
1-2 sausages, diced
1 cup shredded chicken, pork, or beef
1 cup tofu, diced
Any other leftovers you may have in the fridge

Seasoning Ingredients:
1-3 teaspoons spices, like oregano, basil, thyme, smoked paprika, cumin, chili powder
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 - 1 teaspoon salt

Frittata Ingredients:
1/2 - 1 cup shredded cheese (optional)
6-8 large eggs, enough to cover the ingredients

Equipment

10" - 12" skillet Spatula

Instructions

Heat the oven to 400°F.

1. Sauté the Frittata Ingredients: If the meat is raw, cook that first and then remove it from the pan to add back in later. Cook the vegetables with a little oil over medium-high heat, starting with the longer-cooking veggies like onions and potatoes and ending with softer veggies like red peppers. Add any meat or tofu and cook just enough to warm through.

2. Season the Vegetables: Since the vegetables will be mixed with eggs, you want to over-season them a bit here. Add whatever seasonings you wish to use along with a half teaspoon of salt. Let this cook for a minute, then give it a taste. It should taste strong, but still good. Add more spices or salt if needed.

3. Add the Cheese: Spread the vegetables into an even layer on the bottom of the pan. Sprinkle the cheese on top and let it just start to melt.

4. Add the Eggs: Whisk the eggs together and pour them over the vegetables and cheese. Tilt the pan to make sure the eggs settle evenly over all the vegetables. Cook for a minute or two until you see the eggs at the edges of the pan beginning to set.

5. Bake the Frittata: Put the entire pan in the oven and bake for 8 to 10 minutes until the eggs are set. To check, cut a small slit in the center of the frittata. If raw eggs run into the cut, bake for another few minutes; if the eggs are set, pull the frittata from the oven. Cool for five minutes, then slice into wedges and serve. Leftovers will keep refrigerated for a week.

Additional Notes:

• For a crispy top, run the frittata under the broiler for a minute or two at the end of cooking.


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(Images: Emma Christensen)

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